Simon shoved his tongue into my mouth, and I accepted it, albeit somewhat unwillingly. It was the first time we’d kissed, just five days after I’d left my husband.
“I’m so glad we got that out of the way!” I said, laughing. “I was so nervous.” I stretched my jaw, not particularly liking the way he had made me open it so widely.
He took my hand and led me into his home. I watched him as he cooked me dinner: steak and garlic mashed potatoes. As he was preparing it, he’d often stop to come peck me on the mouth.
Watch: Emotional Vs Physical Affairs. Post continues below.
I expected my heart to be singing. This was happening. I expected to be bubbling with excitement, but my heart was flapping like a bird with an injured wing in my chest.
All of it felt… not right. Like I shouldn’t be here, like this wasn’t what I actually wanted, like this was another kind of mistake. Yet I persevered. I placed my palm over my heart and tried to will it to still.
I had left my husband for many reasons, but this man in front of me had been the crowbar I’d finally used to wedge myself out of that annihilating relationship.
I’d been a coward in not leaving years before, in not leaving as soon as I filed for divorce three months before, in waiting to leave until after this man got me alone in his office and pointed to the soft spot below his ear and said, “I love your short hair. It makes me want to touch you right here.”
The heart is an extremely forgiving muscle. It airbrushes defects when we love someone.
An affair is another type of airbrush altogether. The affair is always postured in antithesis to the partner we chose them over. We fill in whatever gaps they have.
What’s left is a liberal delusion: a man spackled and glittered until he was a kaleidoscope of selves: himself, whom he wasn’t, and whom I wished he would be.
It didn’t matter to me who he actually was. I clutched whoever I thought he was as if he was a piece of wood in the middle of the Atlantic after the sinking of the Titanic. I leapt right in — stupidly, recklessly.